Anti-ICEing Bill Proposed in Maryland – 2017 HB 36

Maryland State Delegate Clarence Lam has introduced a bill to penalize “ICEing” if a charging station has a specific sign and the space is marked with green paint. The bill, HB 36, [PDF link] is the fifth attempt at “anti-ICEing” legislation in the Maryland General Assembly.

The language of HB 36 is identical to HB 839 that passed the House in the 2016 Session but didn’t have time to make it through the Senate. This time, the bill will have a much earlier start and should be able to easily pass the House again, as long as there are no significant changes to the bill. The hope is that there will be more time to also get it passed in the Senate in 2017.

Example of signage required to be posted for proposed anti-ICEing law to be enforceable.

Legislation Won’t Be A Cure-All

If the Maryland anti-ICEing bill becomes law, will all charging spots therefore be enforceable? Unfortunately, no. The majority of charging stations in Maryland do not have signs that conform to the state and federal parking sign standards specified in HB 36 and/or don’t have green pavement markings. Each charging station operator or site host must take the initiative to post the official signs that include stating the maximum fine of $100 and they must also apply and maintain green pavement markings in order to comply with the bill’s enforcement provisions.
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Plug-In Vehicle Excise Tax Credit Extension Proposed in Maryland Clean Cars Act of 2017


Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced his plan to introduce the Clean Cars Act of 2017. The Governor’s proposed legislation will increase the investment in the Electric Vehicle Excise Tax Credit program by over 30 percent and double the funds available for the Charging Station Rebate program.

In addition to increasing the state’s investment, other changes have been proposed in an effort to avoid running out of funds before the end of the incentive program’s time period. The previous Excise Tax Credit for Plug-in Electric Vehicles was due to end on June 30, 2017, however, funds were depleted by September, 2016.

Under the proposed Clean Cars Act of 2017:

  • $2.4 million will be allocated for Excise Tax Credit for Plug-in Electric Vehicles
  • $1.2 million for Income Tax Credit for Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE)
  • $100 credit per kilowatt hour (kWh) of capacity, down from $125
  • $60,000 vehicle sales price cap to be eligible for the Excise Tax Credit
  • Retroactive to vehicle purchases since the previous program expired

The final details are up to the legislature and are subject to change.

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Maryland Anti-ICEing Law Proposed for 2017

An “anti-ICEing” law is being proposed for the 2017 session of the Maryland General Assembly. The bill, HB 36 [PDF link], has been pre-filed by Delegate Clarence Lam who represents District 12 with parts of Howard and Baltimore Counties. The bill has 12 additional co-sponsors.

This bill is very similar to HB 839 that passed the House in the 2016 session but died in the Senate. This will be the fifth attempt at “anti-ICEing” legislation in Maryland.

The bill, as introduced, will require “green pavement markings” in addition to a sign that meets applicable requirements in order to be enforceable.

Sign and Green Pavement Markings Specified

A sign designating a plug–in electric drive vehicle charging space shall:
(1) Be at least 18 inches high and 12 inches wide;
(2) Be clearly visible to the driver of a motor vehicle
entering the plug–in electric drive vehicle charging space;
(3) State the maximum fine that may be incurred for a violation; and
(4) Meet any applicable state and federal requirements for parking signs.
(D) A plug–in electric drive vehicle charging space shall be indicated by green pavement markings.

Towing Provision Included

(1) A privately owned parking facility may have a vehicle that is stopped, standing, or parked in violation of this section towed or removed in accordance with subtitle 10A of this title.
(2) (I) A parking facility owned by a local jurisdiction may have a vehicle that is stopped, standing, or parked in violation of this section ticketed, towed, or removed if authorized by local law.

$100 Fine for ICEing

A person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of $100.

List of Sponsors

Primary Sponsor: Clarence Lam, Co-Sponsors: Tawanna Gaines, Carol Krimm, Karen Young, Terri Hill, Stephen Lafferty, Frank Turner, David Fraser-Hidalgo, Jimmy Tarlau, Eric Ebersole, Shane Robinson, Eric Luedtke and Barrie Ciliberti.

More Details Soon

Stay tuned to @PlugInSites, we expect to report additional details including a hearing date shortly.

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Happy Birthday East Coast Superchargers

Newark and Milford Tesla Superchargers are Four Years Old

Delaware Welcome Center Superchargers, photo: @Lanny, February, 2013.

The first Tesla Supercharger stations to be built outside of California opened four years ago today.

Original Supercharger stalls at Milford Travel Plaza NB, photo: @Lanny, February, 2013.

On December 21, 2012, Tesla officially opened the Superchargers at the Delaware Welcome Center in Newark and at the Milford Travel Plazas on I-95 in Connecticut. These two locations enabled Model S drivers to travel between Washington, DC and Boston using Tesla’s exclusive fast charging stations. Before these opened, only six Supercharger sites existed in the world, all in California. Today, Tesla reports 769 Supercharger stations worldwide.

The original Superchargers in Milford have since been updated with new stalls and faster charging speed. In March, 2016, the original site at the Newark Welcome Center was decommissioned and 12 new stalls were built in another area of the Travel Plaza’s parking lot.

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US Geographic Distribution of DC Fast Chargers Compared

SAE Combo, CHAdeMO & Tesla Supercharger network comparison. Maps: US Dept. of Energy, Alternative Fuel Data Center. Dec 15, 2016

With the recent news that the first Chevy Bolts have been delivered to some customers in California, I wondered if it was possible yet to drive coast to coast with a Bolt using a series of SAE Combined Charging Standard (CCS) fast charging stations. To find out the current state of the distribution of CCS chargers in the US, I visited the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center (AFDC) website and this is what I found as of December 15, 2016.

Tesla Superchargers: 327 stations
SAE Combo: 884 stations
CHAdeMO: 1,464 stations (1,956 according to CHAdeMO.com)

Even though there are many more locations for CHAdeMO and SAE Combo stations, the Tesla Supercharger stations are more evenly dispersed, strategically spaced along major Interstate Highways.

The lessons that I learned from attending the recent White House Electric Vehicle Datathon helped me gain insights by looking at the data from both a numerical and geospacial perspective. The Datathon brought stakeholders together to develop best practices for using data to help grow EV adoption and inform the deployment of charging stations.

Looking at the maps, we can only conclude that there needs to be more effort applied to installing SAE Combo and CHAdeMO stations along the Interstates in the middle of the US. The Chevy Bolt and other long-range electric cars cannot fully take advantage of the benefit of 200+ miles of charge until there is a reliable, smartly spaced network of high-speed charging stations. Perhaps the Federal EV Charging Corridors initiative will help bring attention to the needed distribution of DC fast charging infrastructure.

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Catoctin Mountain Park

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On Monday, November 14, 2016, the EV charging stations at Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, Maryland will open for public use. The park has received financial support from the Geller Family Foundation through Adopt a Charger to fund the electricity used by visitors to charge their vehicles.

As we reported in August, Catoctin Mountain Park installed charging stations in November, 2015 but later learned of a policy that National Parks with electric vehicle charging equipment could not provide the electricity for charging at the taxpayers’ expense. The Park was unable to find an acceptable solution for taking payments and attempts to get a waiver of the policy had failed. The staff at the park had redoubled their efforts to find a solution when they were approached by Adopt a Charger and their donor.

Adopt a Charger is a nonprofit organization that helps speed the adoption of electric vehicles by helping to provide EV charging stations which are “adopted” by sponsors. Corporations, organizations, and individuals donate funds to install and maintain charging stations at parks, museums, and other public places.

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The initial funding to purchase and install the electric vehicle charging equipment was provided by a grant from the US Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program in partnership with the National Park Service.

Keep up with EV charging news by following @PlugInSites on Twitter.

Electric Vehicle Charging Corridors Selected for Maryland

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Congratulations to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) for having 462 miles of Maryland highways designated as National Electric Vehicle Charging Corridors by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. MDOT had nominated four highways to be considered for inclusion in the newly designated electric vehicle routes. All four of Maryland’s proposed routes were selected.

R. Earl Lewis, Jr., Deputy Secretary for Policy, Planning, & Enterprise Services of MDOT said, “The Maryland Department of Transportation is very excited about the news that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has designated 462 miles of Maryland highways as Alternative Fuel / Electric Vehicle Corridors. This designation is another great step forward to give drivers the confidence to count on their electric and alternative fuel vehicles for short and long trips. Having electric vehicle corridors in every corner of our state from I-70 in Western Maryland to US 50 all the way to Ocean City will provide great value to Maryland citizens and businesses as the public and private sector work together to expand this infrastructure. Working with our federal, state and regional partners, we can make Maryland’s electric vehicle deployment and greenhouse gas reduction goals a reality.”

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Electric Vehicle Fast Charger sign on Route 50 in Cambridge, MD

Maryland Alternative Fuel Corridors
I-95: From DE state line to VA state line – 110 miles
I-270: Entire length of corridor – 35 miles
I-70/I-68: From Baltimore to WV border – 174 miles
US-50: From Washington, DC border to Ocean City – 143 miles

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National Wildlife Visitor Center Solar Canopy Charging

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Have you ever heard of the Patuxent Research Refuge? I hadn’t, until an EV charging station appeared there recently. I decided to take a trip there to check out the dual port ChargePoint station installed under a solar canopy. I’m glad I did. The charging station introduced me to a beautiful lake and hiking trail. If you like the outdoors, you’ll love this EV Plug In Site.

The charging station is in the parking lot of the National Wildlife Visitor Center in the South Tract of the Refuge. The Patuxent Research Refuge was established in 1936 to support wildlife research. Its mission is “to help protect and conserve the nation’s wildlife and habitat through research on critical environmental problems and issues.” It has 12,841 acres of forest, meadows and wetlands.

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We plugged in and took a leisurely 1.4 mile walk around the perimeter of Cash Lake which supports a variety of waterfowl, songbirds, beaver and other wildlife. There are other short trails in the area totaling 5 miles as well as the Visitor Center and book store which is open 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM daily. Closed on Federal holidays.

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The address is 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708.

The charging station costs $1.00 per hour and you should bring your ChargePoint card or App to activate it.

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Touring Gettysburg in Electric Cars 1908 – 2016

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We recently joined a group of Tesla drivers who gathered in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to drive through the battlefield following the self-guided Auto Tour. We were not the first electric cars to tour the famous Civil War site.

On November, 25, 1908, Oliver Fritchle stopped in Gettysburg on his 1800 mile drive from Lincoln, Nebraska to New York City in his “100 Mile Fritchle Electric” that his company manufactured at a factory in Denver, Colorado. His trip was staged to demonstrate the long distance capability and durability of his electric car and batteries.

When Fritchle pulled up to the Eagle Hotel in Gettysburg at 3:00 that rainy afternoon, a battlefield guide named Harry Gilbert offered his services. Gilbert was the son of a veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg and his father still lived in town. Fritchle and Gilbert toured the Gettysburg battlefield in the car and took pictures of points of interest. Two of those photos are shown above along with the same scene today shown with a Tesla Model S.

Gettysburg did not have an electric vehicle charging station in 1908 so Fritchle charged at the power house for the electric street car system. He converted the system’s 500 volts using an improvised rheostat made from running the current through a barrel of water. Article on Water-Rheostat Construction.

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